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Leona Maguire: “I’m being recognised a little bit more – it’s a privilege.”

Leona Maguire.

Over the last 18 months, Leona Maguire has left her mark, not just on the golf course but in the eyes of the Irish public as well.

Since the beginning of 2021, the Cavan native has registered three top 10 finishes at the LGPA majors, while paying a pivotal role in Europe’s Solheim Cup victory in Ohio last September.

A household name.

Her score of 61 in the final round of the 2021 Evian Championship was the joint-lowest in major history – male or female – and her first win on the LPGA Tour came in February of this year, at the Drive On Championship in Florida.

Maguire’s exploits have become a major talking point in Irish sporting circles, with people on these shores keeping close tabs on the 28-year-old’s progress weekend after weekend.

Her status as a household name is something she welcomes, as she told Pundit Arena earlier this week.

Leona Maguire: “I’m very privileged.”

“I’ve had eyes on me for a while,” the KPMG ambassador said. “It’s been a gradual thing. I definitely get recognised a little bit more in the last few months, more people stopping and asking for pictures or to sign things.

“I’m in a very privileged position that I have young kids and people looking up to me and hopefully it can strengthen women’s golf in Ireland and women’s sport in general.

“I think we’re very fortunate to be in a time where there is this momentum with women’s sport in Ireland and around the world. It’s fantastic to see so many of the girls doing so well this year, not just myself, I think we’ve all rode the momentum of that.”

Irish women’s sport.

Success in various sports in recent years has very much put Irish women on the map.

Maguire will hope to build on that when Europe look to retain the Solheim Cup in Spain next September, and she is expecting to have even more backing this time around as the competition returns to the continent.

“Last time went as well as it possibly could have which made it even more enjoyable,” she said. “It’ll be a very different environment this time round. The crowd was a big factor last time. It will be a very different crowd.”

As well as that, Maguire confirmed that she will play the KPMG Women’s Irish Open in 2023 at Dromoland Castle, which will take place from August 31st until September 3rd. More details on this at the bottom of this piece.

Family support.

As every sportsperson knows, support begins at home and Maguire is pleased that her family provides that in spades.

Her father Declan recently retired from his career as a school principal, and Maguire feels that he might just use some of his free time to cheer her on.

“I think he’s going to enjoy his retirement, he probably needs a break at this stage,” she says. “He came to Spain with me to the last event of the year.  He’ll have more time to travel and spend his retirement how he wants, that’s nice for him.

“Mam is still teaching away. They haven’t got to see me play too much over the last few years so it’ll be nice for them to have the freedom to come and go as they please.”

Christmas in Cavan.

Leona confirmed that Christmas will be spent at home, but thoughts of a busy 2023 won’t be far from her mind.

“I’ll be home in Cavan, which is nice,” she says. “It’s the biggest break I get all year so I’ll enjoy that and hopefully the weather is a little bit kinder to us over the next couple of weeks.

“Home for Christmas but will head back on January 2nd to get back at it and get ready for the first event of the year.”

Pictured is KPMG Ambassador, Leona Maguire, who today, has announced that she will play the KPMG Women’s Irish Open in 2023 at Dromoland Castle, which will take place from August 31st to September 3rd. Tickets for the 2023 KPMG Women’s Irish Open will go on sale in early January.

KPMG are also set to release first of its kind research in Ireland, conducted solely with key female decision makers in businesses nationwide, in January 2023, providing insights on women’s participation in sport and its impact on their skills and careers.

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